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Scenes from American Life

Scenes from American Life
Your Price: $13.95 CDN
Author: A.R. Gurney
Publisher: Samuel French, Inc.
Format: Softcover
ISBN-10: 0573615179
ISBN-13: 9780573615177

About the Play:

Scenes from American Life is a full-length dramatic comedy by Off-Broadway favourite A.R. Gurney, who regards this youthful look at the hypocrisy of adult life as the play that launched his professional career and confirmed him in the eyes of many as an important playwright.

Scenes from American Life depicts a world of exclusive old country clubs and cocktails parties, of prep schools and dancing schools, deferential servants, proper manners and powerful old-boy networks, along with both blatant and subtle hypocrisy, sexism, racism and anti-Semitism. An Irish nurse is not permitted to have men visitors: but her mistress is entitled to her own sexual sidelines. The preacher interprets the Bible in a way that the rich are not scandalized or demoralized but actually pacified. A club member blackballs his best friend, a Jew, because he wants to save him from being hurt. Mature people are winos, ticket fixers with the police, order troops to fire into crowds, and are two faced: one mother calls her son at college to find out where he keeps his marijuana, and another asks her daughter at her coming out party if she has her diaphragm. Not all of youth is so innocent. There are the school chums who pray to God with thoughts of malice and concupiscence. Scenes, then, from American life.

Scenes from American Life received its world premiere in 1970 at the Studio Arena Theatre in Buffalo. It was produced to critical acclaim at the Forum Theater in Lincoln Center, winning A.R. Gurney the 1971 Drama Desk Award for Most Promising Playwright.

Cast: 4 women, 4 men

About the Playwright:

A.R. Gurney (1930-2017) is known as one of the most prolific and produced playwrights in America. His work focuses primarily on the issues and realities of middle-class American life and has been produced on international theatre stages for more than 50 years. He is also the author of three novels and a two-time Pulitzer Prize for Drama nominee, the recipient of the Drama Desk Award, and the Award of Merit from the Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.

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